Anger Management

Submitted by counsellor


Anger, man's natural and healthy reaction to stress, is increasingly being acted on with physical violence, even though we are wealthier, take more holidays and generally lead more comfortable lives. Many theorists put this down to the fast pace of life. If anger isn't managed successfully it can have a detrimental effect on our personal relationships, our self esteem and our opportunities in life.

Tips to help control anger:

1. Take time out, Don't react immediately to a situation, count to 10 or step away from the situation or individual that is upsetting you - this helps to dilute the anger. Time out could mean taking a brisk walk or simply leaving the room.

2. Role reversal. This simply means you put yourself in the other person's place (in the situation that has caused you feelings of anger or frustration). Think about what you would do and how you would feel in their situation. This strategy helps you gain a different perspective other than your own.

3. One way of dealing with an individual who has made you angry or upset is the three-step approach:

(a) The Event: When you have calmed down sufficiently, briefly convey to the individual the incident that is causing the problem. You may need to write this down.

(b) Your Feelings: Tell the individual how you feel about the situation using 'I' messages. You need to use 'I' messages to show that you take responsibility for your feelings, that they belong to you. If you use 'You' messages it will appear that you are blaming them and the individual may become angry.

(c) Your Needs: Explain what you need from them in order to help you both resolve the situation. This opens it up for discussion and hopefully resolution, all done in a calm way, if possible.

4. A useful management skill is changing the conversation in your head. Your inner conversation, if negative and aggressive, has a major impact on your anger. If you learn to control and change the thoughts that pop into you head then it will have a major impact on how you deal with the situation. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and Hypnosis can help change your inner conversation.

5.Recognising Stress: When you recognise that you may be reacting to a situation with anger because you are stressed, finding ways to reduce stress before it turns into anger is very effective. Ways of reducing stress could include meditation, exercising or listening to music.

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